Day1 Global Conferences for Breastfeeding Support(Siew, WABA)

Presentation at the Breastfeeding Support Network in Asia Seminar
17-19 January 2003, Tokyo, Japan
■WABA Regional & Global Conferences for Breastfeeding Support

Susan Siew
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

Some historical events

1939 Dr. Cecily Williams speaks on Milk and Murder in Singapore. She states that
deaths resulting from “misguided propaganda on infant feeding should be regarded as murder”.

1957 La Leche League forms its first organized
breastfeeding group. It later expands into
an international network of about 40,000
members by the 1990s.

1979 International Baby Food Action Network
(IBFAN) was founded in October.

1980 International Code of Marketing of
Breastmilk Substitutes is adopted.

1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child
(CRC) is adopted and later becomes one
of the mandates of WABA.

1990 The Innocenti Declaration is adopted in

1991 WABA is formed in New York as an
umbrella network for organisations and
individuals dedicated to the protection,
promotion and support of breastfeeding.

1996 WABA Global Forum on Children’s
Health, Children’s Rights organized in
Thailand from 2-6 December 1996.

1995 The UN 4th World Conference on Women
in Beijing, China. The Beijing Platform of
Action has several important references to

1997 UNICEF and UNAIDS issue a joint Policy
Statement on HIV and Infant Feeding

1998 The Quezon City Declaration on
Breastfeeding Women and Work is
adopted by the International Workshop on
5 June in the Philippines.

1999 IBFAN awarded the Right Livelihood
Award, also called the Alternative Nobel.

2000 ILO Convention 183 on Maternity
Protection is adopted at the 88th ILO
Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

2001 WABA celebrates its 10th anniversary.

2001 WHO expert consultation recommends
exclusive breastfeeding for six months,
with introduction of complimentary foods
and continued breastfeeding thereafter.

2002 WHA Resolution on Global Strategy for
Infant and Young Child Nutrition
(WHA55.25) is adopted on 18 May 2002.

2002 WABA Global Forum 2 on Nurturing the
Future: Challenges to Breastfeeding in the
21st Century, Arusha, Tanzania, 23-27
September 2002.

14 February 1991

Key founders:
American Public Health Association (APHA)
La Leche League International (LLLI)
International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)
International Organisation of Consumers Union (IOCU)
World Council of Churches (WCC)


WABA is about these five words:


Anwar Fazal
WABA Chairperson


Re-establish and maintain a global
breastfeeding culture
Eliminate all obstacles to breastfeeding
Promote more regional and national level
Advocate for breastfeeding in development, women, environment and human rights

Information-sharing and networking
Link all breastfeeding advocates: grassroots
groups and individuals, UN agencies, governments and international NGOs
Strengthen and coordinate existing activities to
create more momentum
Stimulate and support new and collaborative efforts

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)

Global Participatory Action Research (GLOPAR)

Ten Links for Nurturing the Future

Working Women and Breastfeeding

Global Initiative for Mother Support (GIMS)

Media and Communications

Advocacy and Representation

Outreach and Alliance Building

HIV and Infant feeding
Breastfeeding and the Environment
Breastfeeding and human rights and responsibilities
Breastfeeding and Gender
Doctors for Breastfeeding
Global Initiative for Father Support (GIFS)
What is Mother Support

Mother support as defined by GIMS is any support provided to mothers
for the purpose of improving breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby.
What is the Aim of GIMS

To create the appropriate environment of awareness and support for a mother to initiate
and sustain breastfeeding.

What is the Vision of GIMS
Every woman, irrespective of her circumstance of residence,
will have lay, professional and social support for breastfeeding and will receive
the necessary information, education and encouragement enabling her to
have the breastfeeding experience she and her child want.

What is the Focus of GIMS

GIMS focuses on practices that
specifically affect breastfeeding outcomes for women during their reproductive cycle
(pregnancy, childbirth, post-partum and breastfeeding).

It looks into women’s needs and rights to adequate and accurate information,
support and health care services before, during and after childbirth
to help mothers and their infants experience optimal breastfeeding.


What are the goals of GIMS
To broaden the support for mothers beyond the breastfeeding periods, to include support
during pregnancy, birth and post-natal

To develop guidelines and tools for transforming birthing practices to be more
humane and gender sensitive

To promote step 10 of the BFHI and develop guidelines for putting it into effect

To link and collaborate with other issue movements (e.g. those working on
natural/humane childbirth practice, family support, midwifery, women’s health and
rights) for a holistic view on mother support

To provide the impetus for changes in employment, health facility, and market place
policies and practices so that women experience optimal pregnancy, birthing and
breastfeeding outcomes.


What are the Faces of Mother Support throughout her Reproductive Cycle:

Childbirth and the immediate beginning of breastfeeding
Continuation of breastfeeding for 2 years or beyond

1. Pregnancy

Midwife reminds the woman that breastfeeding requires patience and
Health Clinic has photos of breastfeeding women on walls, a poster announcing a
mother support group meeting and a table with breastfeeding information
Father of the baby earns all he can about breastfeeding
Companies use images of breastfeeding women in their advertisements
Religious Institutions encourage classes for childbirth support and breastfeeding
Community Breastfeeding Counsellor facilitates support groups for pregnant and
breastfeeding mothers to share information and practical tips
2. Childbirth and Initiation of Breastfeeding

Maternity Facility becomes accredited as a Baby Friendly Hospital with humane birthing
practices that respects the mother Nurse — Places the baby on the abdomen of
the mother for them to begin the bonding process
Father of the Baby is with the mother during labour and birth
Doctor examines the baby while the baby remains in the mother’s arms
Government promotes and provides conditions for a safe and humane birth


3. Continuation of Breastfeeding for two years and beyond

Father of the baby tells the mother she is more beautiful than ever and gives the baby a
bath so that the mother can rest

Members of the Family (siblings, grandparents, relatives, etc.) takes the older
child out for a walk so the mother can rest with the new baby

Friends listen and encourage mother whenever doubts or challenges arise, offer to
take the baby for a while

Public places (such as shopping centres, restaurants, parks) provides spacious and
comfortable locations and facilities for breastfeeding mothers

Doctor tells the mother to contact him/her at any time if the mother has a problem or a


Government provides a framework of legal protection for the breastfeeding mother and
supports her through nutrition programmes

Baby gazes into the mother’s eyes while at the breast, letting her know how wonderful it
is to be a breastfed baby!!


Linking and Nurturing Mother Support
21-25 April 2002, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

To highlight good support practices that already exist
Explore new support measures
Share experiences across different cultural contexts
Launch a GIMS network in the region



The six key themes that emerged out of the workshops and reports were:

Partnership and networking that cut across all groups, from rights organisations to workplace
support organisations.
Specific improvements required in nutrition for women and girls, in terms of both quantity
and quality.
Education of professionals and the public on key issues of breastfeeding facts, gender and
women’s work. And more recognition of women doing both productive and
reproductive work simultaneously.
Enlisting men and boys in the health sector, in government and business and in other
employment sectors.
Strengthening the protection needed to prevent sabotage that would undermine breastfeeding
either deliberate undermining by those with financial vested interest or through actions
done because of ignorance.
Right to Care for women during their reproductive phase, especially breastfeeding
for women in general and for children.

Nurturing the Future: Challenges to Breastfeeding in the 21st Century
23-27 Sept. 2003, Arusha, Tanzania

The four main goals of the Forum were:
To rally world wide participation in the movement
To examine how the breastfeeding and HIV/ AIDS movements can work better together
and with UNICEF and the other UN agencies
To spread awareness on the rights of children and women to adequate food, health and care
especially in developing countries
To strengthen existing & create new alliances

WABA Global Forum 2

Core Issues

1. National Breastfeeding Mechanisms
Dr. Arun Gupta, BPNI, India

2. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)
Dr. Audrey Naylor, Wellstart International, USA
Pauline Kisanga, IBFAN Africa

3. International Code
Yeong Joo Kean and Annelies Allain, IBFAN/ICDC Penang

4. Women and Work
Amal Omer Salim, IMCH/WABA Task Force on Women and Work, Sweden

Pamela Morrison, IBCLC, Zimbabwe
Dr. Ted Greiner, WABA Task Force on Research, Sweden

6. Breastfeeding and the Environment
Susan Siew, WABA, Malaysia
Prof. Penny Van Esterik, York University, Canada

WABA Global Forum 2

7. Outreach to Women’s Groups
Marta Trejos, CEFEMINA Costa Rica
Lakshmi Menon, WABA, India
Sarah Amin, WABA, Malaysia

8. Global Initiative for Mother Support
Rebecca Magalhaes, LLLI/WABA Task Force on Mother Support, USA

9. Globalisation
Elisabeth Sterken, INFACT Canada

10. Popular Mobilisation
Beth Styer, WABA, USA
Sarah Amin, WABA, Malaysia

11. Birthing Practices
Mary Kroeger, CIMS/WABA Task Force on Health Care Practices, USA

12. Human Rights
Prof. George Kent, University of Hawai’i /WABA Task Force on Children’s Nutrition
Rights, USA
13. Humanitarian Assistance/Emergencies
Lida Lhotska, IBFAN/GIFA, Switzerland

WABA Global Forum 2

14. Research
Dr. Ted Greiner, WABA Task Force on Research, Sweden

15. Information, Education, Communication/ Information Technology
Andrew Chetley, Health Exchange, UK
Dr. Rob Vincent, Health Exchange, UK

16. Integrated Early Childhood Development
Dr. Miriam Labbok and Dr. Patrice L. Engle, UNICEF New York

17. Lactation Management
Jacquie Nutt, IBCLC, LLLI, South Africa

18. Other Workshops

WABA Global Forum 2

Recommendations & Outcomes

Revitalisation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital
Initiative with focus on neonatal care, humane birthing practices and baby friendly communities
The importance of the International Code was emphasized in the light of the globalisation
process and that international agencies should be held accountable for violations of the Code.
Linking with trade unions with the active participation of the International Confederation of
Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) to work together on ratification of the ILO Convention 183
Reaffirm links with the People’s Health Movement and use the people’s health charter for
promoting breastfeeding
The women’s workshops called for greater awareness on the common positions for working on
breastfeeding and women’s issues and to include issues on gender equality and breastfeeding issues
in both movements.
WABA Global Forum 2

The Forum recognised the clear link of improved
breastfeeding with humanised birthing practices and the need to integrate breastfeeding into disaster
A network called Global Initiative for Father Support (GIFS) was formed
The breastfeeding and the HIV action groups have formed a framework for action.
The health professionals developed an initiative to work particularly with doctors to work on
The Forum initiated a petition to Carol Bellamy, the Executive Director of UNICEF to withdraw
from the unconscionable partnership with the fast food MacDonald chain
Participants made personal pledges to continue to protect, promote and support breastfeeding through
diverse creative actions.





最初は母乳だけ、その後も他の食べ物を補いながら母乳を与え続ける。金色のリボンは、 その「ゴールド スタンダード」、つまり理想のありようの象徴です。


Facebook 母と子の育児支援ネットワーク(災害時の母と子の育児支援 共同特別委員会)